Developers, Events

How to Diversify the Media Mix and Improve Ad Performance: App Growth Summit Berlin

by Yubin Liu on Oct 26, 2021

With millions of people on the internet at any given moment, how can you find the users who will value your app? Search and social seem like the best solutions, but it’s still helpful to run campaigns across channels to improve reach and scale, and to minimize the risk of dependency. 

At App Growth Summit Berlin 2021, Daniel Tchernahovsky, vice president of international business development at AppLovin, participated in a panel discussion to share best practices, lessons, and tactics to help developers connect apps with more users across channels with positive ROAS. Daniel was joined by a team of user acquisition experts including Vladimiro Bilancetti, head of performance marketing at Visable Labs; Radostina Zhekova, UA manager at Voodoo Games; Pedro de Almeida, director of account management at Remerge; and Marco Esposito, marketing manager at App Growth Expert. 

Daniel Tchernahovsky of AppLovin speaks at App Growth Summit Berlin 2021
Image by Jadranko Marjanovic Photography @ App Growth Summit Berlin 2021

Here are a few takeaways from the session.

First of all, what’s a media mix?

The media mix is a combination of different advertising channels. These could include social media ads, display ads on publisher sites, paid search, native advertising, and more. Essentially, a brand’s media mix consists of multiple paid channels. Each channel enables the brand to measure the impact of their marketing spend and show how various elements contribute to their goals, whether those are conversions, revenue, or something different. 

Why test something new? 

Developers have always relied heavily on social networks to drive demand. But this may not be a sustainable strategy, in part because it’s just not diverse enough. Why trust the fate of your user acquisition efforts to a handful of social networks, especially if performance is beginning to dip? 

In addition, ad networks have evolved, particularly in their ability to target users in a manner comparable to Google or Facebook. In recent years, ad networks have dedicated time and resources to developing their algorithms and targeting options. These improvements empower advertisers to define the types of users they want to acquire, and find users that are most likely to convert. With this in mind, developers should explore beyond social and test the other targeting options and publishers out there. 

How should you distribute budget across multiple channels? 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to budgeting across channels. You’ll need to have a holistic understanding of your product first, so it might be worthwhile to ask a few questions as a first step: 

  • What type of product do I have?
  • At which stage am I right now? 
  • What is my monetization strategy? 
  • Who is my ideal user/ target audience? 

Testing is also an important step when defining your budget. “It is crucial to ensure you always allocate a certain percentage of budget for testing,” Daniel said. “The best companies we’ve been seeing on the market are investing roughly 10% of their UA budget into experimenting — whether it’s running different campaign types on existing channels or trying out a new channel. The ultimate goal is to find out what KPI you want to optimize, where your campaign performs the best, and what data enables you to make that comparison.”

How much budget should I allocate for testing?

Before you plan any budget to test a new channel, zero in on the KPIs you want to improve. (Note that those KPIs will vary from platform to platform.) Start engaging with your new ad network, and learn how many conversions you should reasonably achieve, and then calculate a budget based on that. Understand that different events have different conversions, and those conversions have different values. Budget will vary based on the type of conversion and how frequently users complete them. 

To ensure your ad dollars are driving the results you expect, stay in touch with the network you’re testing. The benefit of working closely with your partner is they know their product best, so they can help you come up with the best strategies to maximize your ROAS. 

Comparing apples to apples 

In our experience, design and analysis are the two elements most closely linked to campaign success. First, marketing teams must collect and normalize user data from advertising channels so the larger data set can be effectively and efficiently attributed into user-level insights, which can then be used to optimize campaigns.

As a marketer, it’s important to form a deep understanding of your data so you can compare data from different attribution solutions. Your budget will depend on these KPIs. Every channel may use a different attribution model and may measure engagement differently, so your success metrics may not line up as neatly as you’d like. You’ll need to sort out how success is measured across all your partner networks and channels so you can clearly visualize data for a true “apples to apples” comparison. 

Learn more about user acquisition with AppDiscovery and see how a ROAS campaign can help you tackle challenges and acquire new users with high LTV. 

You can also read how Fastic Reaches Beyond Just Social to Expand Global in a recent Adweek article and the success story section of our site to learn more about how they scaled UA with help from AppLovin.

Yubin Liu is a Marketing Associate at AppLovin.